Greencastle briefs

December 18, 1997

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Three boys have signed up for the Explorer Post being organized by Greencastle Patrolman Terry DeWitt.

The goal of the post will be to give young people interested in a career in police work an idea of what the work is like.

The post is open to boys and girls ages 13 to 18, DeWitt said.

His recruitment efforts have been aimed at students in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, he said.

"I'd like to keep it small for now to see how things go," DeWitt said.

Eventually, DeWitt wants the post to have about 10 members.

The post has met three times at Borough Hall, he said. The Scouts learned how the police fingerprint system works, he said.

The Explorers will take part next month in a traffic survey to find out how many motorists are using seat belts, he said. They will stand on busy corners and check cars for belt use, DeWitt said. The results of the survey will be turned over to the Borough Council, he said.


Borough Councilwoman Jean Oliver is the liaison between the council and the post, DeWitt said.

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Rescue Hose Company No. 1 is trying to get Greencastle-area homes and businesses to use Knox Boxes in a effort to promote safety and prevent firefighters and ambulance crews from doing expensive damage to buildings they are forced to enter in emergencies, said Fire Chief Robert Ebersole.

The boxes, which look like small safes, are permanently attached to buildings near the door most often used. The key to the building is locked inside. Master keys for all the boxes are carried on fire trucks and ambulances, Ebersole said.

The device allows fire and rescue crews to enter buildings immediately during emergencies without having to wait for an owner to arrive with a key. They are particularly handy in cases of automatic alarms or in homes occupied by infirmed or elderly residents, Ebersole said.

The devices would come in handy particularly when the elderly call 911 or have a device that automatically summons help in emergencies.

"They call us, but then they can't get to the door. We often have to wait 15 minutes or so for a relative or neighbor with a key. If we can't find anyone we have to break in," Ebersole said.

The boxes are equipped with a security device that sounds an alarm when the key is removed. It keeps sounding until the key is returned, he said.

Fire department policy requires that state police be notified anytime firefighters enter an unoccupied building.

"We always go in two at a time," Ebersole said.

About 10 boxes have been installed so far at a cost to the building owner of about $160, he said. The fire department does not do installations and makes no money on the boxes, he said.

For more information on the devices, call Michael Luger, captain of the fire department, at 1-717-597-8489.

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